Deborah's Developer MindScape

         Tips and Techniques for Web and .NET developers.

August 25, 2012

Visual Studio 2012 Backwards Compatible with 2010

Filed under: C#,VB.NET,Visual Studio @ 7:20 pm

For the first time in Visual Studio history, you can open a Visual Studio 2010 project with Visual Studio 2012, save it, and open it again in Visual Studio 2010. They are backwards compatible!

If you want to use the new features of the Visual Studio 2012 editor on your current solution before the other members of your team, you can. You can open it and edit it in VS 2012 and they can open it and edit it in VS 2010.

I started using VS 2012 back in February 2012, even through the rest of my team were using VS 2010.  I was able to check in/out from TFS without impacting the other members of the team using VS 2010.

The only issues I ran into were:

  • The Visual Studio 2010 Database project is not compatible with VS 2012. But VS 2012 lets you decide to NOT upgrade it. It then looks like the screen shot below.


  • Office 2007 projects are not compatible with VS 2012. They won’t open and appear similar to the database projects.

I often have VS 2010 and VS 2012 open at the same time, editing in one and in the other. I can edit my Database project scripts and our Office 2007 project in VS 2010 and then edit the rest of my projects in VS 2012. (Similar to the experience with editing in Visual Studio and Expression Blend at the same time.)



  1.   Lance Zimmerman — August 27, 2012 @ 5:23 pm    Reply

    Unless that project is using XNA 4.

  2.   DeborahK — August 27, 2012 @ 8:11 pm    Reply

    Hi Lance –

    Thank you for the additional information. If you have a solution with multiple projects and one of them is XNA 4, can you still open the solution? Does the XNA 4 project just have “not compatible” after it? Or do you get a specific error.

    Thanks again!

  3.   Paige Cook — August 28, 2012 @ 7:10 am    Reply

    Also, Web Deployment Projects are not going to be supported with VS 2012 any longer. So if you open up a solution that contains a Web Deployment Project it will warn you of this and show the project as Unavailable. More details on Web Deployment Projects not being supported in VS 2012 are here:

  4.   Richard — September 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm    Reply

    Setup projects are also not supported in 2012.

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